By Chidi Nkwopara & Chinonso Alozie
OWERRI—A bloody confrontation played out yesterday in Owerri, between some members of the Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, from Ohaji/Egbema local council area of Imo State, and operatives of Imo Security Network, ISN, which claimed the life of one of the Avengers.
Confirming the ugly development in a telephone conversation, the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Mr. Andrew Enwerem, said that the Avengers were coming to Owerri to surrender their weapons before the bloody confrontation ensued.
“The first information report available to the police is that the Avengers were coming to Owerri in about three buses, to peacefully surrender their weapons, when they were confronted by ISN,” Enwerem said.
According to the PPRO, “I cannot say for now, how the confrontation degenerated very fast and ultimately led to the death of one of the Avengers.”
Continuing, the PPRO said that the death of the young man obviously angered his colleagues and they went on rampage.
“The police is aware that the rampaging Avengers stormed the Specialist Hospital and the office of the State Environmental Transformation Commission, ENTRACO, and burnt or destroyed whatever they could lay their hands on, including vehicles,” the PPRO said.
Answering another question, Mr. Enwerem said that “as at the time of the telephone interview, the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Taiwo Lakanu, was personally going around the affected areas to assess things for himself.”
When Vanguard visited the Specialist Hospital yesterday evening, some staff of the medical establishment narrated how the Avengers stormed the place, overpowered the security personnel at the gate, before forcefully entering the premises.
“They burnt vehicles and inflicted varying degrees of injury on both staff and people doing their legitimate businesses inside the hospital premises,” a man told Vanguard.
Meanwhile, the hospital premises and all other areas attacked by the rampaging Avengers, have been cordoned off by the police, and normalcy has returned to the municipality.